In the build-up to training camp, Evan, Devin and I thought it would be fun and interesting to project the 53-man roster in a position-by-position series. As we went through this and noticed where we were going to have holes, we came up with the idea to pick 52 men for the roster, then let you guys vote on the final player to man the Green Bay Packers' initial roster. I figured the poll would be very close, with a lot of guys getting votes.
Only three guys got a large volume of votes, and I should have been able to predict the winner a long time ago. After all, I was a reader of the site for a while before I wrote anything, and for a long period of time before I took over the reigns here. I knew about the cult that formed around a certain linebacker.
Your selection for the 53rd man on the Packers roster is: Vic So'oto
Oh man, I bet you guys are proud of yourselves. Not that I dislike Vic So'oto at all, or that I think he has no chance of making the team. He could totally sneak onto the roster with a good camp and preseason, especially considering how average the other linebackers were last year.
Others receiving lots of votes: Frank Zombo, Diondre Borel
I don't see the Packers taking seven wideouts, and I think the team will opt for someone a bit more versatile than Zombo if they take an extra linebacker. If you voted for Borel because you think he makes the team over Gurley, that's very understandable, especially given Aaron Rodgers' praise of him.
Personally, I don't think any of these three guys is the best choice, and my co-writers agree. In fact, we all independently came to the same conclusion without talking to each other.
The APC staff's pick for the 53rd man on the Packers roster is: Jamari Lattimore
Lattimore can play either outside linebacker or inside linebacker, and he was a special teams beast for the Packers last season. When in doubt on the 53rd man, take the guy who you know is going to give you a big time effort on special teams. He looked decent the few times he had to come in as a linebacker as well, and I have a lot of faith in him as a backup linebacker.
In the first post I voted for Tommie Draheim, the interior lineman I thought had the most promise. As I sit and think about who the Packers might keep I sway between three areas where the depth is probably needed, and no none of them is WR as much as there is great talent there. The three positions are interior OL, DE, and LB (specifically ILB). For this paragraph I'm actually going to write about who I think the Packers will actually choose, which changes my previous choice to Jamari Lattimore. Although an extra DL would be great and help the group until Mike Neal and/or Anthony Hargrove comes back, the Packers tend to go pretty heavy on the LB. The position group is the defense's version of TE; the players tend to be pretty good athletes that can contribute in multiple ways. Lattimore is probably the best special teams player of the bunch and should be able to find a way to contribute. As much as I want to see them keep another interior OL, the truth is that many of those guys are similar and most if not all could be stashed on the practice squad to develop for the long term. Lattimore probably won't.
I'm going with Jamari Lattimore for his ability to play OLB and ILB and contribute on special teams. Diondre Borel doesn't bring much on ST so I think that will be the determining factor.
What do you guys think? Did we diss the o-linemen? Do we need to make sure we have a true backup center on the roster, other than Evan Dietrich-Smith? Or are we too low on Souperman?